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Shots - Health Blog
2:50 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

1 In 3 Americans Is Having A Hard Time Paying Medical Bills

iStockphoto.com

While politicians and soon, the Supreme Court, are fighting about the fate of the Affordable Care Act, a new government study finds that a growing number of Americans are having difficulty coping with the high cost of health care.

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The Salt
2:35 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Inhalable Caffeine Maker Gets Warning Letter From FDA

A woman holds an AeroShot inhalable caffeine device in Boston.
Charles Krupa AP

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has sent a warning letter to the maker of a caffeine inhaler that's marketed around college campuses. The agency says it's concerned about misleading claims about the product and its safety.

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The Two-Way
1:31 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Scientists Say They've 'Cornered' The Elusive 'God Particle'

Fermilab and the Tevatron sit in the Illinois countryside near Chicago.
AP

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 3:37 pm

Scientists from Fermilab say they've basically "cornered" the elusive Higgs boson — that's the particle that some have nicknamed the "God Particle," because it is thought to give atoms mass and is also a key component of the Standard Model.

This is complicated stuff, of course, but essentially the scientists at Fermilab say they found a bump in their data that suggests the existence of the particle. That bump corresponds to the evidence scientists at the Large Hadron Collider have found.

Here's a bit of explanation from the Fermilab press release:

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Around the Nation
1:24 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

'Les Bon Temps Rouler' To The Auction Block

A 1974 Gremlin covered with Mardi Gras beads is part of the auction lot of items from the former Kenner Mardi Gras Museum. The car is expected to draw several bids.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 4:08 pm

In New Orleans, the 2012 Mardi Gras is just a memory. But for those who collect Mardi Gras memorabilia, the celebration lasts all year.

Some of those collectors will be at the Kenner Mardi Gras Museum on Thursday. It's about a half-hour drive from the French Quarter — not a convenient trip for many tourists, and declining attendance is one reason it closed after two decades. Now its collection will be auctioned.

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The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Brazil Moves To Ease Soccer Beer Ban, As World Cup Spat With FIFA Grows

Brazilian Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo says his country no longer recognizes FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke as a spokesman after Valcke slammed Brazil's World Cup preparations.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 1:30 pm

Brazil took a step toward relaxing its strict ban on alcohol at soccer stadiums Tuesday, responding to World Cup organizers' concerns. The Federation International de Football Association is pushing for the change so it can make Budweiser the "Official Beer of the FIFA World Cup" when Brazil hosts the event in 2014.

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Middle East
1:18 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Christians Provide Free Labor On Jewish Settlements

Evangelical Christians from the U.S. are living and working at Jewish settlements in the West Bank for weeks at a time. The Christians see Jewish expansion in the area as fulfilling biblical prophecy, though the settlements are a contentious issue between Israelis and Palestinians. Here volunteers harvest grapes.
Courtesy of Heather Meyers

Originally published on Sun March 11, 2012 7:09 am

It's wet and windy day in Shilo, a Jewish settlement in the central part of the West Bank that has about 10,000 residents.

In addition to the settlers, there are a few extra people staying in Shilo on this day. They are Christian volunteers from the U.S. who have spent the morning pruning the grape vines. Now, with a winter storm beating down on the hills, the volunteers are stomping with their mud-splattered boots and North Face rain gear.

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Religion
1:00 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Vatican Orders Cleveland Parishes Reopened

The Vatican is ordering the Diocese of Cleveland to open 13 parishes that had been closed. The decision might bode well for other parishes across the country that are appealing their closures.

National Security
1:00 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Pentagon Defends U.S. Policy Toward Syria

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 4:08 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. An emphatic message today about Syria from top Pentagon officials: Military options are not the best answer. Some Republican lawmakers, most prominently John McCain, say it's time to launch targeted airstrikes, just as NATO forces did in Libya last year. But as NPR's Larry Abramson reports, military leaders insist the Syrian case is different.

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Limbaugh Says Business Is Fine; Maybe 28 Of 18,000 Advertisers Have Left

Things are fine, Limbaugh says. (January 2010 file photo.)
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Saying that "everything is fine on the business side" and that the number of advertisers who have left his show is akin to "losing a couple of french fries in the container when it's delivered to you at the drive-thru," conservative radio broadcaster Rush Limbaugh today took time to clear up what he says has been "misinformation" about the repercussions from his recent comments about Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:46 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Here's Hoping You Never Get A Hotel Bill Like This One

There are no standard rates. We can charge whatever we want.
Costs Of Care

Sit back and enjoy a video that will probably give you a chuckle, then might make you fume.

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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Ugandan Warlord Joseph Kony Under Spotlight Thanks To Viral Video

The leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, Joseph Kony, in 2006.
Stuart Price AP

Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 10:08 am

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Presidential Race
11:18 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Can Republicans Win Over Women In November?

Romney supporters celebrate in Boston on Super Tuesday. Exit polls from Super Tuesday's GOP presidential contests suggest that front-runner Mitt Romney does best with women voters.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:58 am

For the first presidential cycle in years, Republicans seemed to have a shot at overcoming Democrats' long-standing edge with women voters.

They fared better than Democrats among women overall in the 2010 midterm election — the Republicans' best overall national result among women in 18 years.

And 2012 seemed to have the potential to turn that good showing into a trend, a key advantage in an electorate where women make up the majority of all voters.

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It's All Politics
11:15 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Romney Aides: We Can Count To 1,144; Santorum, Gingrich Can't

Mitt Romney, with wife Ann, talks to reporters after voting in the Massachusetts primary in Belmont, Mass, Tuesday, March 6, 2012.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 8:34 am

Just as they promised they would on Super Tuesday evening, Mitt Romney's campaign aides spent Wednesday explaining why their boss' rivals can't possibly win the Republican presidential nomination and how they're only helping President Obama by not accepting the inevitable and leaving the race.

There was nothing subtle about the title on Romney political director Rich Beeson's memo: "Our Opponents' Last Stand: A Postmortem."

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The Salt
11:03 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Reagan's Unsung Legacy: Frozen Food Day

Mike Ruocco NPR

Former President Ronald Reagan would surely be pleased to know that many of his legacies remain intact in 2012, from campaign promises to lower taxes to ketchup's classification as a vegetable. But few are aware that Reagan is also responsible for another enduring contribution to American food culture: National Frozen Food Day.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:37 am
Wed March 7, 2012

For The Tavenners, Health Care Is All In The Family

Marilyn Tavenner is the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
HHS

Hospital administrators have to deal with Medicare and Medicaid almost every day.

Not too many have to deal with Mom at the same time.

But Matt Tavenner does.

Marilyn Tavenner is the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Matt, assistant administrator at Jackson Purchase Medical Center in Mayfield, Ky., is her son.

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News
10:24 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Public Apology: The 'Mea Culpa' Matching Game

Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh talks with guests at the White House in 2009. Limbaugh apologized March 3 to Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke after he branded her a "slut" and "prostitute."
Ron Edmonds AP

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 11:29 am

March 7, 2012

"Sorry" may seem to be the hardest word, but a lot of famous folks seem to always be saying it. Rush Limbaugh and President Obama both apologized recently. When a public figure makes a mistake, the public wants an apology. A public apology. In this quiz, match the apology with the famous apologist.

Politics
10:07 am
Wed March 7, 2012

For Marco Rubio, V.P. Prospects Bring New Scrutiny

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington last month. The first-term Republican has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential pick.
Andrew Harnik The Washington Times/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 6:04 pm

Throughout the Republican presidential primary season, whenever there's talk about a short list of possible running mates, one name is nearly always at the top — Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Rubio has only been in the Senate for a little more than a year, but his appeal is obvious. He's a young, charismatic, conservative Hispanic.

But as his national profile has risen, he has become a target for Democrats and advocacy groups who say he doesn't represent Latino voters.

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The Two-Way
10:05 am
Wed March 7, 2012

'A Difficult Day': Colts Release Peyton Manning, Making Him A Free Agent

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (18) walks off the field after the New York Jets defeated Indianapolis, 17-16, in an NFL AFC wild card game in January.
Nam Y. Huh AP

Saying today was a "difficult day of shared pain," Jim Irsay, the owner of the Indianapolis Colts, said the team was releasing quarterback Peyton Manning from his contract.

"There will be no other Peyton Manning," he said, before momentarily tearing up. "The number 18 jersey will never be worn again."

Manning has been the centerpiece of the organization for 14 seasons. As Mark explained, yesterday, this was a business decision.

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Politics
10:00 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Super Tuesday Behind Him, Romney Looks To November

Mitt Romney narrowly won the battleground state of Ohio, and five others. But he didn't shut out his GOP opponents. To discuss political news, host Michel Martin speaks with Republican strategist Ron Christie, and Corey Ealons, a former communications advisor to President Obama.

The Two-Way
9:52 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Panetta Says Unilateral Military Action In Syria Would Be A Mistake

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (L) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told the Senate Armed Services Committee today that the "terrible situation" in Syria "has no simple answers."

Pannetta was facing tough questions from Sen. John McCain, a Republican from Arizona, who on Monday called for U.S.-led air strikes on the security forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

"In past situations, America has led. We're not leading, Mr. Secretary," McCain told Panetta.

Fox News reports that Panetta defended the administrations decision not to intervene militarily.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:05 am
Wed March 7, 2012

FDA Scientists Feel A Little Better About Where They Work

A survey of scientists at the Food and Drug Administration finds they're feeling more optimistic about the integrity of decisions made at headquarters (seen here) and elsewhere in the agency.
FDA

Scientists who work for the Food and Drug Administration are feeling more optimistic about the future of their agency than they did back in 2006, according to a survey just out from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

But they still report concerns about outside pressures on the FDA's decisions and policies.

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Business
9:01 am
Wed March 7, 2012

What's Behind These High Gas Prices?

Americans use 300 million gallons of gasoline every day, so it's no surprise they keep a close eye on prices at the pump. Taxes, refinery regulations, transportation expenses and global crude oil supply and demand all influence rising costs.

The Two-Way
9:00 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Anonymous Picks Up The Pieces After Betrayal From One Of Its Own

A young man with wearing a military uniform and mask usually associated with the group anonymous marches with Occupy Wall Street protesters in this November.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 9:55 am

As Ars Technica describes him, Sabu was "a sort of hacker demigod in the world of Anonymous."

"If you couldn't trust him, who could you trust?" Ars Technica writes.

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Election 2012
8:41 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Next Question: Can Romney Win In The South?

Mitt Romney supporters share a pancake brunch in Snellville, Ga., on Sunday. Rival Newt Gingrich won the state on Super Tuesday, by about 22 percentage points.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:58 am

Given his victories on Super Tuesday, there's growing talk that Republican officeholders and voters are just about ready to line up behind Mitt Romney as the party's "inevitable" presidential nominee.

The South hasn't gotten the memo.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Economy: Gains In Productivity Slow; Private Sector Adds 216,000 Jobs

We have two pieces of economic news this morning:

-- First the Labor Department announced that while American workers were more productive at the end of last year, the gains in productivity slowed. The AP reports that could "signal that companies are ready to hire more workers."

The AP adds:

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The Two-Way
6:49 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Apple Expected To Unveil New iPad

An Apple logo is seen at the entrance of Yerba Buena Center for Arts on Tuesday in San Francisco, one day before Apple holds a press event, to make a special announcement.
Kimihiro Hoshino AFP/Getty Images

As has been the case with all of Apple's product unveilings, there is a shroud of secrecy surrounding today's impending announcement.

Today, Apple has invited media to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco for a 1 p.m. ET. event. The only clue provided by Apple was a typically cryptic invitation with a picture of an iPad and a few words: "We have something you really have to see. And touch."

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The Two-Way
5:26 am
Wed March 7, 2012

In Other Super Tuesday News: Joe The Plumber Wins; Kucinich Loses

Republican congressional candidate Samuel Wurzelbacher, better known as Joe the Plumber, talks with supporters in February.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 5:28 am

Our friends at It's All Politics have started to digest the results of Super Tuesday. In a nutshell, it pretty much left us where we were before the 10 big contests: All four candidates are still in the race and the campaign will go on and on.

There were two non-presidential pieces of news from last night, too:

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Food
5:23 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Happy Birthday! Oreo Cookie Turns 100

The first batch of Oreo cookies was made at the original Nabisco bakery in New York in 1912. The company is releasing limited edition "Birthday Cake" Oreos.

Around the Nation
5:16 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Salt Lake City Opens Sealed 1959 Time Capsule

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's All Politics
2:37 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Fight For GOP Nomination Is Over But Will Still Go On

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney addressed supporters at a Super Tuesday rally in Boston on Tuesday. His home state was one of the six he won Tuesday night.
Jessica Rinaldi Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 8:18 am

As they counted up the votes on Super Tuesday, you could almost hear Celine Dion singing that theme song from Titanic — the one about how her heart and the whole tragic tale would go on.

And on.

So it is with this year's Republican presidential contest.

Usually by this time in the picture, the GOP has given its heart to its hero, and it's lights out for the rest of the cast. But once again this week, the GOP of 2012 refused to read the usual script.

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